Gut bacteria may reveal Alzheimer’s even before symptoms appear

The Alzheimer’s Society indicates that a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, and cereals, and low in red meat and sugar helps reduce dementia risks. Photo Pexels

(Don Rauf/ Everyday Health) — The very early stages of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) can be difficult to detect. Changes in the brain can begin a decade or more before any memory or thinking problems occur. When the first symptoms do appear, they can seem like normal forgetfulness.

Recent research on the gut microbiome suggests a new way to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease early on, when treatment can be most effective.

The study, published June 14 in Science Translational Medicine, found that people in the earliest phase of the illness, who have no outward signs of decline, have a different composition of microbes in their intestines than healthy people.

“Previous studies have shown that the gut microbiomes of persons with clinical Alzheimer’s disease [when impairment of memory and cognition is apparent] are different from those of persons who are cognitively healthy,” says the lead study author Aurora Ferreiro, PhD, a postdoctoral research associate at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. (…)